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“A great place to experience”

Auchindrain Highland Farm Township
Ranked #5 of 17 things to do in Inveraray
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Auchindrain is the only surviving example of a Highland Farm Township that was not abandoned or modernised, and is now preserved as a museum and run by an independent charity. The 21 acre site offers visitors a fascinating insight into life and work in the past. Auchindrain is a conservation project in progress, and we pride ourselves on being true to history. We're not a theme park or a glitzy commercial attraction. If you don't like the idea of gritty realism please don't visit us and then leave a bad review because we're not something we don't claim to be.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase
Syracuse, New York
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A great place to experience”
Reviewed 17 August 2014

A haunting and poignant experience. A walk through the farm buildings demonstrates the joys of rural life as well as the extreme hard work and effort needed to live in those times. We are small farm owners and learned so much from the agricultural tool display. Thank you for the education. We hope the efforts to preserve and share this wonderful place are successful. We would very much like to come back on our next visit to Scotland.

Visited June 2014
2 Thank Debra B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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162 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Stirling, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
131 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“The way we were!”
Reviewed 10 August 2014

Have been to a lot of these townships, and while it might not have as much as say Beamish or Summerlea industrial museum, it still has its own attraction. My kids thought it was "cool" so as far as I`m concerned that`s enough. Thought it was a fairly honest depiction of the way things were.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank charlietiler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Little oasis”
Reviewed 10 August 2014 via mobile

This place is so lovely, we came in the rain and it helped us to understand life back then even more. The exhibition on the gypsies and mental illness was fascinating and so were all the cottages. The staff were soooo friendly and helpful and the food from the cafe was lovely (have to have the homemade jam). Its a must see.

Visited August 2014
2 Thank Kieran C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“'A time gone by'”
Reviewed 27 July 2014

A well preserved example of how crofting communities lived in a time gone by.Thatched cottages furnished the way they used to be, a hen house, barns with farming implements,sheep and goats.You can really imagine how life must have been. A guide book is supplied with the entrance fee which tells you about the people who actually lived there. Characters in costume would give it a wow factor but understand the limitations and practicalities. Staff friendly and helpful.

Visited July 2014
Thank KazQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dusseldorf, Germany
Level 6 Contributor
146 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“A bit disappointing”
Reviewed 25 July 2014

I very much appreciate the effort the people involved have been putting in presenting and maintaining this interesting open air museum. But in comparison to a lot of other museums worldwide (e.g. Plimoth Plantation, Valley Forge, Calico Ghost Town, Arnhem, Enkhuizen, Kap Skill, Kommern) I was a bit disappointed when visiting this attraction. The houses and the furniture were not restored, but kept in a state of the time when the inhabitants left the place. And the tooth of time obviously gnawed the whole place. In contrast to the impression you get when you read the leaflet nobody reenacted the daily life of the people formerly living in this township. And the worst thing was the whole place is a poo-scattered minefield (sheep) where you find yourself spending more time looking down than anything else around you. The ticket office and the café make a good and clean impression, the staff are friendly.

Visited July 2014
5 Thank Johnny19039
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AuchindrainTownship, Manager at Auchindrain Highland Farm Township, responded to this review, 27 July 2014
We are always sad and disappointed when someone doesn't enjoy their visit to Auchindrain as much as we hope and intend. Please contact us via the email address on our website, so we can arrange to provide you with a full refund.

Your review reflects some key challenges we face, and you will see our comments here reflected in past responses to negative reviews, showing at least that we are aware of the issues and consistent in the nature of our response.

As an overarching issue, Auchindrain is and always has been run by an independent charity: the museum is a small organisation that stands alone rather than being part of a large body with wider resources. We are a bit in the back of beyond away from major tourist destinations and routes, and despite much effort over more than 40 years our visitor numbers and thus our earned income are not high. We receive some public sector financial assistance, but money is incredibly tight and there is a great deal that we would like to do and think we should be doing that is simply out of our financial reach. This issue underpins all of the points you make: we don't disagree, but we just do not have the money to do more or different. You compare us with a number of other sites elsewhere in the world, and this comparison would be fair if we had even a fraction of the discretionary spending power they have ... but we don't. It isn't that we don't care or don't know better.

The overwhelming majority of our visitors tell us that they greatly value the gritty realism of Auchindrain, so we have consistently retained that as a focus. We draw attention to the presence of livestock and advise "appropriate footwear". Unfortunately some people do not like aspects our our approach, and where this is the case our policy is to offer a no-argument, unconditional, refund, although we have also found that hardly anyone takes up this offer!

Yes, we illustrate our website and leaflet with images taken on our occasional event days that show the place come-alive, but at the same time we are very careful in our words not to give the impression that the place is populated by demonstrators. It isn't, because the costs of doing so would be many times beyond our income from visitors ... we ask people to use their imagination. On the other hand, until a few years ado the images we used were just pictures of buildings and museum objects, and people complained that this didn't do justice to the place or give any sense of what it is. So which set of grumbles should we most heed?

We are so very sorry that you were disappointed in us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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